This Rosh HaShanah: A State of Palestine, A State of Prayer

Shalom from Jerusalem as we approach the Jewish New Year/Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashana). As you know, this is an extremely critical month for Israel, the nations and the Church. Rather than address all the major current issues, our focus in this update is threefold: (1) to share a word about this particular Rosh HaShana 5772; (2) to disclose some little-known American laws that imply, according to some legal experts, broken covenant with Israel; and (3) to urge you to join us in prayer via a phone/Skype meeting before September 20. (We also want to express our sorrow to any of our American friends who may have suffered personal loss from Hurricanes Irene or Lee, the wildfires in Texas—or any other devastation. You have our love and prayers for God’s comfort, strength, and full restoration.)

A New Year Resolution
The Feast of Trumpets falls this year on September 28, but heaven’s trumpet call to the Warrior Bride can already be heard. Says the prophet Joel: “Proclaim this among the nations: ‘Prepare for war!’ Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. …Let the weak say, ‘I am strong!'” (Joel 3:9-10) As the Jewish year 5771 gives way to 5772, the shofar is stirring and imparting to the Warrior Bride a new level of intimacy-fueled, covenant-based authority. Issues of covenant alignment will be critical this year.

Meanwhile, the shofar also shouts to the nations from the same passage in Joel: “Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. … Let the nations be awakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.” (Joel 3:11-12) Indeed, the United Nations will convene its 66th General Session on September 13. The following week, PA President Mahmoud Abbas plans to present his request for a UN Resolution recognizing Palestine as a sovereign, member state. Now, high level discussions under the radar, or back room negotiations, could change matters at any time. But as of today, Abbas is expected to go forward with his plan, and the General Assembly is expected to grant his requested recognition when the nations vote on the matter. Israel still believes, however, that the United States will veto the measure at the Security Council level. We can not overemphasize the importance of the fact that the Palestinian government and majority of the population are still dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state, and have pan-Islamic backing in their endeavor. Their goal is not genuine peace.

From another key perspective, any UN Resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood is fraught with illegalities under international law. However, many Internet articles have recently addressed this matter, and so we will not do so here. We will simply recommend a couple of videos and a comprehensive legal analysis, links to which are posted toward the bottom of this update.

Assuming matters play out as expected at the UN, even if the Palestinian bid is vetoed by the US, intensified levels of international “lawfare” aimed at delegitimizing the Jewish state are sure to result. In addition, Israel is gearing up for a likely wave of terror and border provocations, with possible military operations to follow.

The primary Palestinian goal at the UN this fall, if not statehood, is to further isolate Israel politically, economically, and militarily—in the ongoing attempt to destroy her. The secondary goal seems to be a further weakening of US influence in the Middle East. By most accounts, both goals are likely to be achieved. Birth pains preceding Messiah’s return are ratcheting up to a new level, as Arab Spring chills into an Arab Islamic Winter, Turkey’s enmity mounts against Israel, and Iran continues its steady progress toward nuclear arms. In addition, non-Middle Eastern nations are experiencing shakings economically, politically, meteorologicaly and in other ways. Yet there is good reason to be optimistic.

God is far from finished. To Israel, the Church and the nations, the Rosh Hashana shofar also declares Joel 3:13-14: “Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe… Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision. For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” At the Jewish new year 5772, multitudes are being drawn into a metaphorical valley of decision.

It is significant that this new season is one in which the Spirit is prophetically underscoring the importance of covenant alignment. (Perhaps not coincidentally, some say this is reflected in the year 5772 by the number 2). Therefore, by the power of their vote, the nations will align themselves covenantally with respect to God and man for a period of years to come. How they decide for Israel will affect their own welfare during times of global shaking ahead.

A harvest is ripe for both judgment and mercy. God’s decision—for judgment or for mercy—depends to a large extent on man’s. Will we pray passionately for Israel and the nations of the Middle East and elsewhere? Let the Warrior Bride’s New Year Resolution for 5772 rest on God’s covenant through His Word and the blood of His Son. Let’s pray according to the prophet Joel: “The Lord will also roar from Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem. The heavens and earth will shake, but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain.” (Joel 3:16-17) Let’s pray forth a great harvest for mercy!

America’s Broken Covenant with Israel?
The United States has expressed its intent to veto any UN General Assembly recognition of Palestine this fall at the higher, Security Council level. For that we thank and praise God. America has been a friend to Israel in the past like no other nation. But that friendship seems to be undergoing a precarious change. As American-Israeli citizens, we write especially to our fellow Americans.

This article is based on the extensive research of highly regarded international lawyers. Some are working with Jewish and Christian organizations to present Israel’s case before UN member nations. Others are preparing lawsuits to potentially file in the US. Admittedly, some experts in international law would disagree with their conclusions. In any case, kindly bear in mind that this article aims to present important facts, not to condemn America. If you don’t have time to read the entire article, you’ll get the general idea by reading all the bold, underscored sections.

Many do not know that the US committed, under both American and international law, to support a specifically Jewish State in territory now occupied by Palestinians. God takes such matters seriously.

Approximately 90 years ago, the US Congress passed the “Lodge-Fish Resolution,” signed by President Harding in 1922. The Lodge-Fish Resolution has the full force and effect of law. It incorporates the wording of Great Britain’s 1917 “Balfour Declaration,” a document stating Britain is in favor of the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. (Please remember throughout this article that until 1948, “Palestine” referred to Israel, and not to the territories within Israel now often called Palestine.) Accordingly, when America passed the Lodge-Fish Resolution, Palestine included all the territory from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. In Lodge-Fish, America agreed that land reserved forJewish settlement should include all of the West Bank, aka Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem—areas which are currently occupied by today’s Palestinian people. Not until Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama did the US formally, publicly demonstrate a policy to the contrary.

Following the passage of Lodge-Fish, in 1924 the US signed a treaty with Great Britain, called the “Anglo-American Convention respecting the Mandate for Palestine.” This international treaty further obligated the US to support a singularly Jewish state throughout the entire land now known as Israel, including the West Bank. In return, America received certain international rights and benefits it had wanted to secure.

At this point, a brief digression is essential for background purposes. The British Mandate for Palestine, which was the subject of the Anglo-American Convention, had been issued in 1922 by the League of Nations. The League of Nations served as the predecessor organization to the UN. The League of Nations Mandate for Palestine gave Great Britain the responsibility to establish a specifically Jewish state over all the territory now known as Israel, the PA and Jordan. By its own Charter, the UN is required to adopt all laws or resolutions passed by the League of Nations, including the Mandate for Palestine. Therefore, the UN is technically legally bound today by all the principles underlying the Mandate for Palestine, including its dedication of land for a Jewish state. (Another critical document, known as the1920 “San Remo Treaty” is fundamental to Israel’s legal right to exist. We will not discuss it here because this article is limited to the present, uniquely American dilemma respecting her covenant with Israel.) Why, you may ask at this point, does Israel today not include the territory known as Jordan? The answer is that Britain illegally gave away most of the land she’d dedicated to the Jews in order to establish a Palestinian state in Jordan—for the sake of appeasing the Arabs living in that specific region.

Returning now to the Anglo-American Convention of 1924, we saw that in this treaty, the US approved of the British administration of Palestine based on the League of Nations Mandate. But even more importantly for our purposes here, in that Convention the US formally recognized for a second time the national and political rights of the Jewish people to all of Palestine (including the whole West Bank) for a future Jewish State. This American recognition of Jewish sovereignty also implicitly included all of Jerusalem, which, interestingly, served as the capital of Mandated Palestine.

The Anglo-American Convention became US public law under Article VI of the US Constitution. Therefore, the US became, in effect, a contracting party to the Mandate for Palestine and a guarantor of Jewish rights to Palestine (meaning, Israel). As a result, some international law experts have concluded that the current US policy to restrict Jewish people from living in East Jerusalem, or anywhere else in the West Bank, is not lawful. From a biblical perspective, such actions would seem to represent a breach of covenant with the Jewish nation, which God would not take lightly. In the Bible, covenant breaking always carried negative consequences. (See for example, Amos 1:9, Deut. 7:9, Ezek. 17:15, Hos. 10:4, Mal. 2:9,10,14, Matt. 5:37, James 5:12)

Jewish rights to Palestine (remember, this means Israel) under the Mandate have never expired. They have remained embedded in US public law. Under America’s own common law principles, a strong case can be made that the US can not now legally deny the rights of Jews to live or own land anywhere within former Mandated Palestine.

International law also dictates that rights based on an international agreement, and which are subsequently implemented to create a new state (as happened with Israel) can not thereafter be revoked by the party or parties who granted those rights—or by any party that recognized those rights in exchange for a benefit (as happened with the US in its Anglo-American Convention). According to the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Article 70 (1) (b), the matter, as it were, has already been decided; it is a closed case and can not be re-opened. If it were otherwise, law would have no bearing; disorder and lawlessness would result throughout the world.

As researched by some respected international lawyers, the US has, by its policy changes over the past 20 years, beginning with the Oslo Accords and continuing through today, ignored its earlier legal commitment to the Jewish people and Jewish state. This would seem to represent a breach of covenant with the Jewish nation, which God would not take lightly.

What can you and I do? This is a season in which covenant issues will play a major role in determining our destiny. Therefore, at minimum, we can pray! God is gracious. He actually longs to be gracious to us, waiting to hear our cry for mercy. (Isaiah 30:18-19). While judgment may be inevitable, so too is His mercy—if we, His people called by His name, humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. Will you join us in doing so? At the New Year, when the world resolution is for a Palestinian state, the Warrior Bride in America can also resolve to a new state—of prayer—for God longs to be gracious to us.

We recommend the following video links regarding Israel’s right to exist under international law:
San Remo Mandate: Israel’s Magna Carta
“Give Peace a Chance” – European Coalition for Israel

For details on the American-Israeli legal position:
Israel’s Legal Foundation, Borders, ans Rights to the Land of Israel Under International Law